by Lori K. Ditoro

Rockwell Automation, Insyght Systems & the city of Hamilton grab the win

The 2011 Success Story of the Year competition has been a huge...success. Thanks so much to all the organizations that entered the contest and to our wonderful editorial advisory board members for their review of the entries and valuable feedback.

Congratulations to first place winners Rockwell Auto-mation, Insyght Systems and the city of Hamilton. Their project improved the efficiency of the largest water pumping station in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, which serves more than 500,000 people. Following a complete energy analysis, optimized flow set points and new, energy efficient equipment provided major improvements, reducing energy costs by 30 percent per year, with an annual savings of more than $500,000.

Finalist Eaton Corporation helped West View Water Authority—a Pittsburgh-area water utility—save $1,000 per day by using variable frequency drives.

Hydro, Inc., another finalist, helped improved its aftermarket services with its 5,000-horsepower testing facility.

The honorable mentions are EagleBurgmann, for solving the sealing issues for a major U.S. chemical company. Best PumpWorks' team was honored for its redesign of an impeller to improve the performance of a cooling water pump. Hitachi received an honorable mention for improving the performance of packaged pump supplier QuantumFlow's centrifugal pumps.

Congratulations to our winner, finalists, and honorable mentions!

Rockwell Automation & Insyght Systems Improve the Efficiency of the Hamilton Water Pumping Station

2011 Winner

Striving for energy efficient pump function is no longer optional. With strict demands for energy efficient operation—including the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which went into effect in December 2010—and rising energy costs, organizations have no choice. When a city water utility needed to replace aging equipment, it wanted to do more than find adequate replacements "Our objective was to replace aging assets and improve pumping efficiency while taking advantage of energy incentives to lower our return on investment as much as possible. We are extremely happy with the results that Rockwell and Insyght brought to this project" said Dan Chauvin, Director Water and Wastewater Engineering.

The Problem

A large water pumping station servicing Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, which has a population of more than 500,000 people, needed to replace the motors and switchgear at its facility. Each was reaching the end of its asset life. The connected load was more than 10,000 horsepower and a mix of 13.8 kV and 2.4 kV.

The operators did not have quantitative data, but felt that the station was operating at low energy efficiency. Rockwell and Insyght's assessment determined that the city was paying more money per year on energy than necessary. This project was also given priority status, because the city received Provincial and Federal Infrastructure Stimulus Funding (ISF) that Canada, similar to the U.S., had launched to generate economic activity.

An energy analysis model, considering all variables, was developed to determine how to design a station that operated with high energy efficiency over a broad range of discharge flows and pressures. The following data tools were developed and used:

  • A station system discharge curve that indicated the discharge flow versus pressure for the normal and abnormal operating ranges. Actually, multiple curves existed, depending upon what downstream pumps were running. This was also taken into consideration. Five years of SCADA operational data were used to create a "real life" curve versus theory.
  • Real pump curves for all six existing pumps, of difference sizes, using the five years of SCADA data. This provided quantitative data showing that the pump impellers had been trimmed many years ago, which no one knew for sure, and revealing that the pump efficiency was less than 65 percent.
  • A review of water plant flows to determine what low, medium and high flows allow the entire plant to operate at high efficiency. These three values were then used to select new, high-efficiency pumps.

The Solution

  • The solution had to address the following areas for optimization:
  • How to run the water plant and the downstream pump station at optimum efficiency
  • How to select the best combination of pumps to meet the pumping needs
  • What new voltage and motors would be most efficient
  • How many and what size VFDs could reduce energy costs

For each, an analysis of the problem was reviewed and the costs/benefits for each area were established. Regarding the plant operation, three key flows were identified that could provide a high plant operating performance and energy efficiency. This established the pumping target values of 29,400 gallons per minute (gpm), 40,380 gpm, and 66,080 gpm.

For the pump options, a computer model was developed for a six pump station model. This included: